Product Gallery (Safer)
PiperWai Natural Deodorant
In addition to my quest to try natural products, changing to a non-aluminum deodorant was mandatory for cold caps use. Most all commercial brand deodorants contain aluminum, and further, from asking around I found that most natural deodorants don’t work well. This one, however, has worked for me. It was on Shark Tank, by the way, and is charcoal based. Most natural deodorants are paste or cream and are applied with your fingers, which is kind of annoying, and the same is true of this one, but I can live with it. Though I’ve heard rumors they may come out with a roll-on and I’d be all over that! I also am not in love with the container—it’s a bit narrow for dipping fingers in and if you have long nails, there’s no way not to get it crammed up under them. I actually keep a plastic spoon with my deodorant and dip it out, then use my fingers to apply. The scent of this is what a friend called “clinical mint” and I personally thought that was very accurate. Don’t love it, don’t hate it, would say it’s grown on me.
Also consider: My second choice of deodorant is a brand called Meow Meow Tweet. Love the name, love the tropical grapefruit scent, like the consistency (a little more creamy than Piper Wai) but don’t love that I can’t get the chalky residue off my fingers after application without washing my hands. Because I don’t have that issue as strongly with PiperWai, it’s my winner. But this one is right up there.
Coconut oil has, for the most part, replaced my body lotions and body creams. And yes, I’m talking about the same coconut oil you find in the cooking oil section of the grocery store. This didn’t come about in relation to cancer—I’ve been using it on my skin, and also my hair, for about a year. Totally natural and pure, and is a great, not to mention inexpensive, moisturizer. It’s affected by temperature, turning from solid to liquid at about 74 degrees, which, for me, means that in the summer I’m usually putting on a liquid version and in winter a solid. But when it’s solid, it quickly melts on the skin.
Pure Haven Shampoo
(previously Ava Anderson)
Now, I have to be honest—I do not love this shampoo. It isn’t sudsy and I have to use a lot of it to get any soapiness at all. But I’m recommending it for a very important reason. If you use cold caps, you have to use a chemical-free shampoo with a specific ph balance and it must be clear. Other than those specifications, you’re on your own coming up with such a shampoo, and the Pure Haven/Ava Anderson shampoo fits the bill. I’m also using the conditioner (which also requires using a lot more to soften my hair) and the detangler, as keeping the hair from tangling is super important during cold cap use and the six months after.
Pure Haven Body Butter
This was recommending to me by a friend for use during radiation to help keep the skin from burning. I’m using it in conjunction with other products recommended by my doctor. I like the consistency as a general moisturizer—it goes on easy and absorbs well. Scent is tropical—not the best tropical I’ve ever smelled, but I like it okay.
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Why is softening cuticles suddenly key? If you clip them off and get any bleeding at all, during chemo, you may invite infection. And for me personally, I’ve been on blood thinners due to getting blood clots after chemo port surgery, and that means if you bleed at all, even a tiny bit, it can be hard to make it stop. So I’ve gotten pretty serious about cuticle conditioning and I love this product because it softens and smells wonderful.
Mari's Organic Hairspray
It was challenging to find a truly natural hairspray that really worked for me. But this one seems to contain no chemicals at all and it works really well. It has alcohol, which, yes, is drying, but from my research, most hairsprays contain alcohol, including most natural make-at-home recipes, and at least this hairspray uses only natural ingredients. Has a fresh sea-salt sort of scent.
Zoya and Mineral Fusion Nail Polishes
It’s hard to find a good, easy-to-use nail polish that doesn’t have chemicals in it. The most natural type is water-based, but by all accounts, those don’t go on well or they require an involved or laborious application or drying process. That’s not for me, so I instead learned about “safer” nail polishes. These still contain some chemicals, but they are free of the biggest offenders in nail polish land. And they go on well. The Zoya covered in two coats for me, the Mineral Fusion in one. I’m also using Mineral Fusion clear coat and find it to be good quality and easy to use.
BeautyCounter Routine Clean Face Cleanser
This product is almost a liquid, milky like a shampoo, and a little goes a long way. It leaves my part oily/part dry skin very soft afterward without any adverse effects.
BeautyCounter Nourishing Cream Exfoliator
This is to be used in conjunction with the cleanser above (or BeautyCounter’s other face cleanser, which I haven’t tried.) I use it in place of the cleanser once every few day. It has tiny exfoliating beads that help remove any bits of dead or dry skin, or anything that’s hanging around on your face that shouldn’t be. I really like this product a lot. I’ve used other exfoliators on my face that are much more harsh—this one works very gently yet seems to do just as good a job.
BeautyCounter Radiance Firming Complex
I’ve used a number of “firming” or “aging” creams in recent years, and I have to be honest and say I’ve never seen a difference in my face—which is why I keep trying new ones. That said, I’ve always heard that the point of these is that if you’re at least using something, you’re nourishing your skin and slowing the signs of aging going forward. As usual, I haven’t seen any huge decrease in age lines from this, but I do like the texture—it’s light, not greasy, and smooths in easily—so I’ll probably keep using it, and maybe I’ll see more results over time.
BeautyCounter Vibrant Eye Perfector
Same big picture note as above in the section about firming cream. Can’t say I see a difference from using this, but I feel good about moisturizing and nourishing the area around my eyes with natural products, and I suspect its use is more about protecting from future aging signs than getting rid of the ones you’ve already got. This one is creamy, but goes on easy, and a little goes a long way. It’s a small container, but it takes so little to cover this area that it should last for a very long time.
Burt's Bees and Neutrogena Makeup Removal Cloths
I’m big on makeup removal cloths—gotta have ’em. The Burt’s Bees cloths claim to be 99.1% pure and come in several different scents. I’ve only tried the lemon scent so far, and personally find it too pervasive and not nearly as appealing as in the cuticle conditioner, but otherwise, I like these cloths fine—they’re adequately moist and do a good job of removing makeup. They say on the packaging that rinsing with water after using them is not required, and that’s not true of other make-up cloth removers. That’s a big plus for me as I like a one-step process.
Also consider; Neutrogena. From my research, they’re less offensive chemically than Ponds or Cetaphil, so if you can’t stand the strong lemon scent of the Burt’s Bees, this would be my next choice. But if you use them, you should rinse with water afterwards.